Viva la Vida
Coldplay Lyrics


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I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning, I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
Now the old king is dead, long live the king
One minute, I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringin'
Roman Cavalry choirs are singin'
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason, I can't explain
Once you'd gone, there was never, never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

It was a wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn't believe what I'd become
Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh, who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringin'
Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason, I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringin'
Roman Cavalry choirs are singin'
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain
I know Saint Peter won't call my name




Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Overall Meaning

The song Viva la Vida by Coldplay reflects on the fleeting nature of power and the consequences that come with it. The opening line "I used to rule the world" sets the tone for the rest of the song, as the lyrics detail the downfall of a once-great king. The lyrics suggest that the king's power was not sustainable and was reliant on the foundation of "pillars of salt and pillars of sand."


The chorus "I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing, Roman cavalry choirs are singing" suggests that despite the king's fall from power, he is still longing for the glory days. He wants to be surrounded by his loyal followers and the grandeur of his reign, represented by the ringing bells and singing choirs.


The song also touches on the idea of betrayal, as the king laments "once you'd gone, there was never, never an honest word." This suggests that as his power waned, those he trusted turned on him, and his fall from grace was all the more painful as a result.


Overall, Viva la Vida is a poignant commentary on the nature of power and its inevitable end. The lyrics are emotive and thought-provoking, leaving the listener with a sense of melancholy and contemplation.


Line by Line Meaning

I used to rule the world
I was once in complete control of everything and everyone around me


Seas would rise when I gave the word
My power and influence were so great that even nature itself responded to my commands


Now in the morning, I sleep alone
I am now isolated and have no one to share my power with


Sweep the streets I used to own
I am reduced to performing menial tasks in the places that were once under my control


I used to roll the dice
I used to take risks and live life on the edge


Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes
My opponents were once terrified of me and my power


Listen as the crowd would sing
My subjects and followers used to adore me and sing my praises


Now the old king is dead, long live the king
Although my reign has ended, someone else has taken my place and the cycle of power continues


One minute, I held the key
I once held all the power and control


Next the walls were closed on me
But then the tables turned and I became trapped and powerless


And I discovered that my castles stand
I realized that my power was built on a fragile foundation


Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand
And that my rule was not as solid and secure as I thought it was


I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
I am aware of events happening in far-off places that signal something important is happening in the world


Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
Even the powerful forces of Rome are taking notice of these events


Be my mirror, my sword and shield
I need someone or something to protect and guide me


My missionaries in a foreign field
I seek out those who can spread my influence and power beyond my home


For some reason, I can't explain
I cannot understand or fully comprehend why things have turned out the way they have


Once you'd gone, there was never, never an honest word
After I lost my power, I never heard the truth from anyone around me


And that was when I ruled the world
My time of absolute power and control is now over


It was the wicked and wild wind
Something unpredictable and uncontrollable, like the wind, changed everything


Blew down the doors to let me in
This uncontrollable force actually allowed me to take power


Shattered windows and the sound of drums
There was great disruption and chaos as I rose to power


People couldn't believe what I'd become
Many were surprised by my rise to power and the kind of leader I turned out to be


Revolutionaries wait
There are those who oppose my rule and are waiting for an opportunity to overthrow me


For my head on a silver plate
They want to see me brought down in a public and humiliating way


Just a puppet on a lonely string
Despite my power, I am still manipulated and controlled by forces beyond my understanding


Oh, who would ever want to be king?
This life of power and control is actually empty and full of fear


I know Saint Peter won't call my name
I fear that my actions have made me unworthy of redemption or salvation


Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh
Repeating this refrain adds emphasis and emotional depth to the lyrics


Hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
This line is repeated to emphasize its importance in understanding the song's meaning


Roman Calvary choirs are singing
This line is repeated to emphasize its importance in understanding the song's meaning


Be my mirror, my sword and shield
This line is repeated to emphasize the artist's desperate need for guidance and protection


My missionaries in a foreign field
This line is repeated to emphasize the artist's need for influence and power beyond their home


For some reason I can't explain
This line is repeated to emphasize that the artist is still struggling to understand what has happened to them


I know Saint Peter won't call my name
This line is repeated to emphasize the singer's fear of damnation and punishment


Never an honest word
This line is repeated to emphasize the theme of deception and corruption in the artist's world


But that was when I ruled the world
This line is repeated to emphasize the contrast between the singer's past and present circumstances




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Christopher A. J. Martin, Guy Rupert Berryman, Jonathan Mark Buckland, William Champion

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@redypajero

Song about: French revolution
Sung by: British band
Title in: Spanish language
Lyrics and sang with: English words

@wilhelmiusroderick8167

@Dice No in french it's “vive la vie“

@sinsaydarylg.9165

noice

@ivancassara6276

Cover violinists by: Italian children

@ekokarss

my friend here, as borat would say, has a funny RetARdAtion

@diegoenrique03

Your profile name: pajero

484 More Replies...

@otherguy6865

My dad was a huge Coldplay fan, and so i grew up listening to all their music. This song and "Clocks" by Coldplay were his absolute favorite. My dad passed away in 2018 and now their music means so much to me because it makes me feel close to him!

@DominicCoulter

R.I.P sorry for your loss

@AnthonyGuardado-jm5xp

Im Sorry For your lost

@Erik_thered4473

Am sorry for your loss your dad is the king now he may rest peacefully long

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